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Americans Lose Trillions Claiming Social Security At The Wrong Time

FYI: Almost all American retirees claim Social Security at the wrong time, a new report estimates, which means they will miss out on a collective $3.4 trillion in benefits before they die.

While they can tap their benefits as early as age 62, retirees could boost the size of their checks for every year they wait until age 70, when the maximum benefit accrues. The advantage in waiting is substantial: A person eligible for a $725 monthly check at 62 could get a $1,280 check if they wait to start at age 70.


  • Nothing new SOS!!
  • edited June 2019
    Social Security benefits are guaranteed to keep up with inflation and last for life. That’s important when half of all 65-year-old American women can expect to live past age 86, according to Social Security estimates. The average life expectancy for U.S. men who are currently 65 is age 84.
    What about the half of women who don’t live that long? The most important number no one can know for sure is his/her life expectancy. If you are not physically healthy and/or longevity doesn’t run in your family taking Social Security early makes sense. Also many people don’t have the retirement savings to time their taking of the benefit perfectly like this story suggests, yet they may still be sick of working and not want to work till age 70 before retiring. In other words, the answer to when to take the benefit is complex and this constant assumption that Americans are stupid and don’t know how to maximize their retirement by the financial services sector is getting pretty old.
  • Exactly Lewis.
  • Totally agree with Lewis.
  • 10-4 on Lewis et al.
  • edited June 2019
    I removed my misquote

    From the post:

    "Fellowes said the issue isn’t a lack of financial literacy. Indeed, affluent and educated retirees are more likely to make a mistake than are poorer and less-educated ones"

    Some lack reality and say SS wont be there if they wait to retire.

    It is a personal decision that does not need Monday morning quarterbacking.

    I'll leave it at that
  • @Gary - that's not what Lewis wrote. Go back and read it again. Lewis said ".... and this constant assumption that Americans are stupid and don’t know how to maximize their retirement." See that part about "this constant assumption."
  • We are holding off drawing SS as long as possible. My wife started at full retirement age (66), and I’m considering waiting until 70. For us, SS functions as a sort of longevity insurance. Plus, my wife has many close relatives who lived into their 90s and later.
  • None of the male members in my familial roots ever lived to the break even point where waiting would have been beneficial Ergo, neither did I.

    How do I calculate my Social Security break-even age?
  • These 1-sided articles get written all the time.

    Am still waiting for an article to determine how much in Soc Security benefits was lost due to people WAITING beyond age 62, but who died prior to their break-even date.

    Somehow, I expect that number will never be revealed.
  • Those people waiting beyond 62 and then dying before the break even point bought an insurance policy for their surviving spouse. If you are married, it is even more important to wait as long as possible. If you and your spouse both don't make breakeven age (though I'd bet odds are greatly in favor that 1 or both do), who cares - your dead.
  • @MikeM, hey now, come on, half of online life is kvetching mightily about things that do not matter
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